Herzog tops Super Late Model Qualifying at Senator’s Cup Fall Classic

Reif wins Jr. Late Models 50-lap feature

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Austin Herzog served notice on Friday night that he should be considered a contender at this year’s Senator’s Cup Fall Classic at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Clovis, Calif., driver clocked the fastest lap in Super Late Models qualifying for the 150-lap Open Comp, crossing the line in 14.516 seconds at the 3/8-mile oval. That was nine-thousandths of a second quicker than Gracin Raz’s 14.525-second lap, and Trevor Christiani was third at 14.573.

Multiple-time Bullring race winner Tyler Fabozzi was fourth at 14.603, and last year’s Open Comp runner-up, Jeremy Doss, was fifth at 14.636. Las Vegas’ Chris Clyne – a 13-time winner at The Bullring – was sixth at 14.651, while fellow local and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoff driver Noah Gragson (14.653) was seventh-fastest and Brittney Zamora (14.690) of Kennewick, Wash., rounded out the top eight qualifiers.

At the re-draw, Herzog plucked the No. 6 starting position, while Clyne drew the coveted No. 1 spot and will start on the pole for the $15,000-to-win race. Gragson drew the No. 2 spot, with Gracin Raz and Fabozzi making up Row 2 and Christiani and Herzog drawing Row 3.

Row 4 will be Doss and Zamora, while heat race winners Linny White – a two-time Open Comp winner (2015-16) – and reigning Bullring Super Late Models champion Jimmy Parker Jr. will start from Row 5. Kole Raz – who won the other Super Late Model heat race – and Toni McCray make up Row 6, and Kayli Barker – The Bullring’s all-time winningest female driver – joins Dezel West on Row 7.

Howard Holden of Clovis, Calif., won two of the four 10-lap Super Stocks heat races, with reigning Bullring Super Stocks track champion Sam Jacks, winning the other two. Four-time track champion Aaron McMorran and 13-time Bullring winner Mason Sargent took checkered flags in the pair of 15-lap 602 Modifieds heat races, while Cole Potts of Agoura Hills, Calif., crossed first in the Late Models 15-lap heat race.

In the Jr. Late Models’ 50-lap feature, Las Vegas’ Tanner Reif out-dueled his brother, Tyler, by 3.018 seconds to earn a trip to the Winner’s Circle. Points leader Kyle Keller was third, while R.J. Smotherman – second in the season points standings – was fourth.

“I was able to get a good re-start, take the lead, keep the tires good and kept the lead,” said Tanner Reif, who also won at The Bullring on April 14. “I want to thank my crew, mom and dad, my crew chief and my sponsors.”

The division will crown its 2018 track champion after a 35-lap race on Saturday night. Gates open at 3 p.m. Pacific Time, and the feature races begin at 5.

NEXT RACE: The Senator’s Cup Fall Classic continues with six races on Saturday, with the 150-lap Open Comp highlighting the action. That feature will pay $15,000 to the winner, and White will be in search of his third win in four years in the prestigious event.

Senator’s Cup Fall Classic
Opening Night results

Super Late Models qualifying (top 8)
1. Austin Herzog, 14.516 seconds; 2. Gracin Raz, 14.525 seconds; 3. Trevor Christiani, 14.573; 4. Tyler Fabozzi, 14.603; 5. Jeremy Doss, 14.636; 6. Chris Clyne, 14.651; 7. Noah Gragson, 14.653; 8. Brittney Zamora, 14.690.

Super Stocks Heat Race No. 1
1. Howard Holden; 2. Richard Herzog (-4.756 seconds); 3. Michael Nicks (-5.157); 4. Jim Merlino (-6.311); 5. Wayne Jacks (-9 laps); 6. Tim Fahrner (-9 laps).

Super Stocks Heat Race No. 2
1. Sam Jacks; 2. Thomas Suarez (-3.110 seconds); 3. Billy Paddack Jr. (-3.881); 4. Joe DeGuevara (-6.476); 5. Mark Blanton (-7.392); 6. Jesus Hernandez (-7.789); 7. Sheldon Cooper (-8.141).

Late Models Heat Race
1. Cole Potts; 2. Dean Thompson (-.356 of a second); 3. Neil Schneider (-5.228); 4. Jason Kiser (-6.060); 5. Matthew Frady (-6.556); 6. Eric Martin (-1 lap).

602 Modifieds Heat Race No. 1
1. Aaron McMorran; 2. Justin Johnson (-.446 of a second); 3. Cameron Morga (-1.802); 4. Ron Reed (-4.378); 5. Tanner Reif (-5.301); 6. Pat Petrie (-8.602); 7. Doug Hamm (-3 laps).

602 Modifieds Heat Race No. 2
1. Mason Sargent; 2. Zachery Nicholls (-1.934 seconds); 3. Tim Fahrner (-2.291); 4. Shawn Price (-2.797); 5. Kyle Keller (-3.184); 6. Tom Pfundstein (-3.896); 7. Larry Hull (-4 laps).

Super Late Models Heat Race No. 1
1. Linny White; 2. Toni McCray (-1.491 seconds); 3. Kyle Neveau (-2.068); 4. Trent Seidel (-5.844); 5. Mark Neff (-8.691).

Super Late Models Heat Race No. 2
1. Jimmy Parker Jr.; 2. Kayli Barker (-3.518 seconds); 3. Brandon White (-5.051); 4. Andy Sole (-7.902); 5. Charlie Pike (-10.842); 6. Scott Gafforini (-6 laps).

Super Late Models Heat Race No. 3
1. Kole Raz; 2. Dezel West (-2.351 seconds); 3. Logan Jewell (-3.371); 4. Mitch Kleyn (-4.518); 5. Billy Mitchell (-4 laps).

Super Stocks Heat Race No. 3
1. Howard Holden; 2. Wayne Jacks (-.510 of a second); 3. Michael Nicks (-2.204); 4. Richard Herzog (-2.233); 5. Jim Merlino (-3.409).

Super Stocks Heat Race No. 4
1. Sam Jacks; 2. Mark Blanton (-2.186 seconds); 3. Sheldon Cooper (-2.697); 4. Jesus Hernandez (-4.499).

Jr. Late Models 50-lap feature
1. Tanner Reif; 2. Tyler Reif (-3.018 seconds); 3. Kyle Keller (-5.104); 4. R.J. Smotherman (-8.997); 5. Cody Kimele (-9.419); 6. Olivia Manke (-1 lap); 7. Braden Connor (-2 laps); 8. Lily Mead (-6 laps).